Posted by: Flatlandia | April 26, 2009

Bike Racing at its best!

race-day-006-31Where to begin…

Yesterday was the inaugural Flatlandia Kermesse. I drove the pace car for the Men 30-40 field in the morning, then again for the Cat 1/2/3 + Women Open field in the afternoon. A breif recap is as follows ( please note that I am about to mix up people, teams and actual events):

Men 30-40: 5-Laps

Lap 1 the field is all together into the wind till Pony Shop’s Brian Conant attacks before turn 3. Way off the front for rest of the lap. Lap2 the field closes the gap and Brain sits up. Next rider in purple-orange kit attacks and is off the front for full lap. Small elite chase group is formed and catch leader. Succeed and now have a lead group of: Purple-Orange guy, Brain Conant, Navigators rider, 2 Burnham and 2 Pact. They stay off the front and evenly trade pulls making it look easy. On final lap by the start finish line Amgen and Pact rider get a gap and stay away till the finish. Jeff Watt from Burnham wins the sprint for 3rd over Brain and other Pact rider. Great race to watch from the mirrors.

The Cat1/2/3 + Women’s Open 5 lap race was a real treat. With the mixed field and the 30 + head wind gaps where formed in the first 5 miles. There was an elite lead group of about 7 riders, the only 3 I recognized were Tim H from Burnham, Al U. from Cuttin Crew and Ben-Jamin Widoff “The Jamin’ator” from Power Bar. Since the fields were going to be scored separately, I noted Tim and Al were sitting in a pretty spot ( did not know The Jamin’ator was also a 3). Tim dropped back from the group with some bad luck, so the leaders were now four Cat1/2 riders, Al and The Jamin’ator. It stayed this way for the remaining 4 laps. With everyone doing their fair share of work, and no one attacking. I thought Al did a touch too much work considering he was a lower Cat riding with the big dogs, but he probably sees it the other way around. I am a big fan of Al, and have had the pleasure of losing to him many times, so of course I was rooting for him. On the final lap a sever storm rolled in, whipped up the winds to 30 + mph and dropped a scary amount of rain. With about 2 miles to go ( 1/2 mile to gravel) The Jamin’ator put in a serious attack, gets a gap, only Al reacts and bridges the gap, takes the lead, and hits the gravel road corner super hot! I was glued to the mirror and kept screaming “Easy Al, easy Al..”  they hit the corner, Al in the lead and I see his front tire wash out and go perpendicular the road, he somehow rights himself and keeps his lead. Now the goose bumps set, the rain is pouring down, mud is ever where, Al is putting down the hammer, I scramble to find my camera to record this moment of beauty. The Jamin’ator looses Al wheel due to poor visibly and a mouth full of mud. Al powers on to win the Cat 1/2/3 race with a slight gap over The Jamin’ator! What a amazing finish.

Next I jump back into the car to try and convince 3 xXx women that they do not need to finish the race, but there was no turning them back. 10 more miles of wind, rain and gravel for them. They keep a solid tempo till they hit the gravel, at which point they start attaching each other. A solid display of sportsmanship by the women racing till the bitter end. I was really impressed.

Overall the race was a great success, and can only get better as the years go on. See Flickr site for photos and check Flatlandia Blog later for results. Send me a note with your experience and what we can do to make things better next year.